To take down Trump, you must attack him personally

Yes, it will be the politics of personal destruction; the dirty little demon in the closet that has done so much to turn our political system into a cesspool of institutionalized mean-spiritedness. It’s an infection, true, and maybe someday another dynamic will take root, some kind of ceasefire, but, until then, it’s a good idea to accept the reality as it is, rather than as we might like it to be.

At first it will be called sour grapes and unfair, and people will rush to his defense, claiming, well, of course the establishment wants him gone—they have everything to lose, so they smear him, the Golden Boy. If the effort to unravel the Trump folklore is as thin and weak-kneed as in the past, he will skate on it all once again.

More likely, a small crack in the dam will appear. Trump and his supporters will do their best to put fingers in the dyke, but eventually it will give way, and when that happens there will be the biggest political pile-on since… well, maybe ever.

Of course, perhaps the Trump legend is unassailable, or its ingredients beside the point. Maybe his supporters and a lot of other folks, too, simply won’t care, so long as they continue to believe he and he alone can do whatever it is they yearn for. Maybe it’s true that the upside of Trump neutralizes the downside. We’ll see. We will definitely see.

But if the Trump legend doesn’t hold up, if it plays out as described here, on the day Hillary raises her hand and takes the oath of office, a lot of people are going to be sitting around, shaking their heads, and saying, “What were we thinking? Why didn’t we bring these things up before they did?”